O’Connor Supports Iowa Justices Targeted for Ouster Over Gay-Marriage Ruling

Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on Wednesday supported judicial merit selection and three Iowa justices up for retention in November.

Speaking at a forum in Des Moines, O’Connor urged Iowa voters to retain the three justices who have been targeted for a ruling last year striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriages, the Des Moines Register reports. O’Connor said merit selection helps shield judges from political pressure and the influence of money as courts nationwide are under attack, the story says.

“The health of the nation is affected by the system we use to pick judges,” O’Connor said. “As Iowa goes, so goes the nation. I wish the nation would hurry up and go your direction.”

O’Connor, 80, has become the most active retired justice in decades, USA Today reports. She has supported merit selection in a dozen speeches in the past year, has stumped for better civics education at a Cubs game and other venues, and has heard cases in the federal appeals courts.

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